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Somdev’s troubles continue

Barcelona: Somdev Dev Varman’s lean patch extended, on Tuesday, as the top-singles player of the country lost his fifth straight first-round match on the ATP tour when he bowed out of Barcelona Open following a defeat against Martin Klizan, here.

Somdev, on the edge of the top-100, lost 2-6, 4-6 to his Slovakia rival, ranked 108, in one hour and 18 minutes.

In doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi advanced to the quarter final with a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 win over Treat Huey from Philippines and Dominic Inglot from Britain in just 48 minutes.

Bopanna and Qureshi saved all three break chances they faced and converted three of the four chances they got.

They may face top seeded team of Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor in the next round.

Since winning Delhi Open Challenger tournament, Somdev has won only one match on the Tour and that too when Juan Marti del Potro had retired mid-way in the Dubai event.

Somdev did win two matches in the Davis Cup early this month but even in those victories the Indian was stretched by the lower-ranked Korea players.

It was a fateful start for the Indian in the euro 2,127,035 clay court ATP 500 tournament, as he was broken in the very first game of the match.

He did put up a fight in the second set but the day just did not belong to him.

Returning from a three-week absence, due to a groin injury, Japan’s Kei Nishikori won his first clay match of the season, beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

“I’m very happy to win,” said Nishikori, who had prepared for the tournament by training on clay in Florida last week.